Will Ferrell turned down Elf sequel because he didn’t like director

Emily Brown

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Will Ferrell turned down Elf sequel because he didn’t like director

Featured Image Credit: New Line Cinema

As film fans across the world sit down to watch their favourite Christmas films to get into the festive spirit, many of us are pondering why - in the age of the sequel, prequel, reboot and spinoff - one of the most loved never got a second instalment.

Yep, while there’s probably a large majority of the Earth’s population who would kill to see Will Ferrell back in his role as Buddy the Elf, tensions between the actor and director Jon Favreau mean it will probably never happen.


Seventeen years after its release, Elf remains one of the best-loved Christmas films of all time. Buddy’s excitement about Santa and his love for Christmas in general never fails to get people in the holiday spirit, so it’s understandable that fans have demanded to see more of Buddy in the years since the film’s release.

The 2003 comedy was directed by Jon Favreau, who is also known for producing films such as Iron Man for the Marvel Cinematic Universe - and for starring as Monica’s mixed martial arts obsessed boyfriend Pete in Friends.

Though Elf is undoubtedly a masterpiece, it seems things weren’t always as jolly behind the camera as they were on screen.

During an interview with 92.3 Sports Radio, as per MovieWeb, actor James Caan revealed that ‘the director and Will didn’t get along very well.’

Will Ferrell in Elf. Credit: New Line Cinema
Will Ferrell in Elf. Credit: New Line Cinema

Caan, who played Buddy’s dad Walter in the film, discussed the possibility of a sequel and admitted that he believed he’d ‘finally got a franchise movie’ that would allow him to ‘make some money’ and let his kids ‘do what the hell they want to do’.

However, due to tensions between Favreau and Ferrell, the actor had in his contract that he didn’t want to work on a sequel that had Favreau as director.

Caan commented: "Will wanted to do it, he didn’t want the director… it was one of those things."

The possibility of an Elf sequel is one that has been teased a couple of times over the years, with rumours of Favreau being involved with Elf 2: Buddy Saves Christmas 10 years after the release of the original film and the director raising the topic again a few years ago.

Ferrell and Favreau have not publicly discussed their relationship behind-the-scenes, and neither has commented on Caan’s recent revelations, but for whatever reason, Ferrell has remained firm on his decision not to bring back Buddy.

The actor even turned down a whopping $29 million for a sequel, telling The Guardian that while the huge chunk of money seems like a lot ‘for a guy to wear tights’, he ‘never liked’ the idea of a sequel.

Ferrell has reportedly claimed he doesn’t like sequels in general, though he has been part of a few in the past including Anchorman 2 and Zoolander 2.

It would probably take a Christmas miracle for an Elf sequel to happen, but that doesn’t mean fans can’t hold out hope!

Topics: Film & TV, Film and TV, Will Ferrell, Christmas

Emily Brown
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